July 23: Nibbled to death by ducks

This was above the entrance at Union Station.  I agree, wholeheartedly.
This was above the entrance at Union Station. I agree, wholeheartedly.

Today was just one of those days. I suppose it had to happen sometime, but honestly.

We had planned to catch the MARC train to Baltimore to go to the National Aquarium today, but when we arrived at Union Station, it was to find that we had just missed the train, literally, and that the weekend schedule had so few trains that there was no way to go there, have enough time to actually see the aquarium, and get back in the same day. And, yes, I had attempted, unsuccessfully, to check the weekend schedule online that morning.

So, Plan B. Which somehow found us riding Metro back to the Smithsonian station, then getting on the circulator bus (that’s supposed to be part of the weekly Metro Passes we both bought when we first got here on Wednesday, but our passes kept beeping that they weren’t working – the drivers just waved us on, but still) that goes round the National Mall, and ending up back in Union Station to eat lunch. Don’t ask.

Then we decided to go see monuments (which we had planned to do on Sunday). Which should have been fine – we saw the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, which is a lovely statue, but doesn’t actually look like Mr. King, IMHO, then we made the monumental (sorry) mistake of getting off the circulator bus to see the Lincoln Memorial. It would have been fine if a) the circulator bus, which was supposed to run every 10-15 minutes, still hadn’t shown up after over an hour, and b) the bus stop hadn’t been in in the blazing sun with nowhere to sit down in the 100+dF heat index. We finally abandoned hope when I started feeling sick from the heat and managed to get over to a refreshment stand to buy cold water (yes, we’d been drinking as much water as we could carry, but we’d run out) and sit in the shade for a bit, before Loralee had the absolutely brilliant idea to hire a pedicab (yes, the pedicabs were out in this horrible weather) to take us to the nearest Metro station.

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial.  It's *huge.*
The Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. It’s *huge.*
Looking across the Tidal Basin from the King Memorial, with lots of zoom.  That's the Jefferson Memorial.
Looking across the Tidal Basin from the King Memorial, with lots of zoom. That’s the Jefferson Memorial.
I figured I'd cap what seemed to be turning into a Lincoln pilgrimage.  Boy, did that turn out to be a mistake.  I'm glad I saw him again, though.
I figured I’d cap what seemed to be turning into a Lincoln pilgrimage. Boy, did that turn out to be a mistake. I’m glad I saw him again, though.
And another view of the Washington Monument, this time from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
And another view of the Washington Monument, this time from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The pedicab driver was a very nice young man in blond dreadlocks with the most amazing leg muscles I’ve ever seen on a human being. At any rate, he hauled us to a Metro station and we got on it and came back to the air-conditioned motel and drank a couple of gallons of ice water each, I think.

Oh, and I got us lost again coming home from the restaurant for supper. I swear, I’ve gotten lost at least once a day since I picked Loralee up from the airport, and the only driving I’ve been doing is to get us back and forth to the Metro station and to eat. Sigh.

The sky from my motel room tonight.  It was quite something.
The sky from my motel room tonight. It was quite something.